Dear Inner Circle,

“Is that really you?” It’s a funny question and I was so tempted to claim that I wasn’t really me. “Graham Long?” he asked. “Guilty as charged” I replied. “Well I never thought that I’d actually ever meet you even though I’m your friend on Facebook.” The man offered a handshake and introduced himself as “Eddie, the Big Issue seller from Brisbane”. “Gosh” I said, “Are you the Eddie, the Big Issue seller from Brisbane?” It was a fun way to get our warm discussion going. Eddie has always known about Wayside and he follows closely all our posts on Facebook. He came to Sydney partly just to check us out. I gave him a guided tour of Wayside just now. He just loved seeing Aboriginal people with their own space and busy preparing some food. He was blown away by our rooftop garden. It was lovely to hear him begin to wonder about how he could help transport some of our ideas to Brisbane. It gave me a big kick to see how all our staff members greet Eddie with the same dignity we’d afford the Premier or any other person of importance. I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve met Eddie the Big Issue seller from Brisbane and he’s a lovely bloke.

On Father’s Day I was quite touched by how many people claimed me as their Dad. What an honour! My own daughter sent me a message that said, “Without me, this would just be another day for you! You’re welcome.” Although she wasn’t in church, she suddenly appeared for communion, took the bread, gave me a kiss and said, “Happy Father’s Day” and then walked straight out the door again. I love my girl.

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